WASHINGTON – Floyd Abrams, the attorney for New York Times reporter Judith Miller (search), said Sunday he had tried a year ago to reach an agreement with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald concerning Miller's testimony about the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity.
Instead, a federal judge ordered Miller jailed when she refused to testify before the grand jury investigating the Bush administration's disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name. The reporter spent 85 days in jail before being released Thursday after she agreed to testify.
Appearing Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Abrams said: "I tried to get a deal a year ago. I spoke to Mr. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, and he did not agree at that time to something that he later did agree to, which was to limit the scope of the questions he would ask, so as to assure that the only source he would effectively be asking about was Mr. Libby."
The Times reported that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (search), Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was Miller's source. In a statement Thursday, Miller said, "My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations." She appeared before the grand jury Friday.
Miller held out, Abrams said Sunday, in part because "she has other sources and was very concerned about the possibility of having to reveal those sources, or going back to jail because of them." Before she finally testified, Fitzgerald promised to limit his questioning to the Libby contacts regarding Plame.